The Georgia Tech football team announced Tuesday that defensive back A.J. Gray and tackle Jake Stickler are retiring from football because of injuries.
“I’m extremely saddened for A.J., Jake and our team but, in the big picture, health always trumps football,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said in a statement according to Yahoo.com. “I’m grateful that A.J. and Jake will be able to continue to attend Georgia Tech and earn their degrees.”
Heart issues have reportedly forced Gray into retirement, but Stickler’s reasons for hanging up his cleats were undisclosed. Both will remain on scholarship but because they won’t play, neither will count towards the 85-scholarship limit.
Gray recorded 54 tackles, 2 interceptions and a sack as Georgia Tech’s starting free safety in 2017. He also started in 2016, registering 72 tackles.
Stickler started at right tackle for 10 games in 2017. He helped Georgia Tech finish fifth in the country with 307.4 rushing yards per game and second in the ACC with 5.4 yards per carry.